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10 October 2008

It's a Great IDEA!

Focusing on the end result of student learning– that is what it is all about– and that is a great IDEA!!

In the past, JSU required faculty to survey one course per semester, and most of the time the surveys were completed on paper with each college using their own instrument and processing their own data. With the online IDEA Student Ratings system JSU is piloting in fall 2008, JSU students will rate each course they are enrolled in by clicking a link provided to them via e-mail. All courses will be evaluated using the same instrument and method, providing the opportunity for increased consistency and reliability.

The IDEA survey is focused on the instruction students receive. Adjusted scores are weighted to account for student work habits, motivation and class size. Prior to students receiving the IDEA online survey, faculty will determine the essential and important aspects of their courses based on 12 learning objectives. A Faculty Information Form will be emailed to each faculty member during the month of October for each of their courses, to be completed by October 31, 2008.

Students will then receive an e-mail for each course they are registered in beginning sometime around November 10. Faculty, along with a campus-wide publicity campaign, will encourage students to complete their evaluations. Faculty will receive e-mails with response rates for each of their courses and by December 5, all student evaluations will be completed.

Reports will be available quickly, early in the spring semester. Each college has an IDEA representative who will be trained to support the administration of IDEA. These liaisons will also provide reports that will serve as a valuable tool for faculty and department heads.

For more information about IDEA, go to the IDEA Center website. It contains tips for ranking the learning objectives, using IDEA for team-taught courses, and using results. The website is:

(Article reprinted from the Fall 2008 issue of Momentum, published by the JSU Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.)

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